It’s a funny thing - how we define Time Well Spent. It’s very personal.
We all know someone (or we are a person) who:
- Delights in experimenting in the kitchen
- Exercises more times in a week than most do in a month
- Alphabetizes her spice rack with glee
- Creates purposeful, playful, and present time with their children
- Passionately burns the candle of their career climb
- Meticulously designs the details of their home, their wardrobe, or yard
- Has an insatiable appetite for books
- Always remembers the birthday, writes the letter, reaches out, makes time for a coffee
- Has a disciplined practice for centering in prayer, meditation, journaling, or solitude
You get the idea. We allow ourselves some activities more than others and the guilt free list tends to be short. It’s fueled by our values ~ what is a worthy endeavor, what brings us satisfaction, how we define accomplishment, what adds to our own sense of self.
l left Trader Joes determined to break my patterns. I headed straight for Bed Bath and Beyond, where I bought kitchen organizers. Rearranging an unexpected corner was a gift of calm. I allowed myself some time to find a few new recipes that felt good to make. Today I finally started to help my daughter with a garden she has been requesting for weeks. With each activity I gave myself permission to enjoy, take my time, and be present. It was true Time Well Spent.
At this point in our evolution, with all of the economic and technological advances in our society, researchers predicted we would be enjoying significantly more free time. Yet our culture spins unnaturally fast on a scarcity model, where free time is rarely free from priotizing, justifying, or micro-managing.
There’s no one right definition of Time Well Spent. However, I believe there is a universal gift we receive in expanding our definition: new energy, new experiences, new learnings, new joy.
What would you like to add to your guilt-free list? If you need encouragement to spend this time, reach out to the seasoned artist, designer, athlete, gardener, or entrepreneur that you know. Listen to their authentic enthusiasm. It will help you be open to new possibilities for your own.